Open Championship: Round 3

A Broken Clock Is Correct At Least Twice A Day

Yesterday I posted about Round 2 at the Open smack dab in the middle of play. I lamented that Rory was being handed a trophy before he had even truly separated himself from the field. I warned that the players chasing him were too good and the weather was the wildcard we couldn’t underestimate. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

In Round 3 at Hoylake the R&A got wise to the weather and moved the tee times up and put groups on both the 10th and 1st tees so that play could be completed without delay. The R&A’s move paid off for all those involved with the Open as hail and lightning storms were avoided. However, the move also meant that no part of the field got the better end of today’s draw in hopes of having Rory and other leaders come back to them. Another 68 for Rory with two eagles coming home and we’re looking at another likely blowout in a major.

Who Can Catch Him? 

My gut says that Rory is going to post a 71 or 72 tomorrow. That means a player like Fowler, Garcia, Johnson, or perhaps Adam Scott will have to post 66 or better, and a 63 for someone like Scott. Is that number out there? It could be if the weather wasn’t going to be horrid, but that’s not the case. This thing is over, and I wouldn’t bet against Rory right now if you gave me the field and paid me 3 to 1. That being said, it is a tradition around here to speculate about who will eventually win when the dust settles on the final round of a major. I expect this to be 98% or higher for Rory, the outcome seems too obvious.

 

Back to Dustin Johnson for a second. He closed with a fury of birdies on Friday to shoot 65. Then Paulina jumps on a flight to get to the UK and his game is stuck in neutral with a 3rd round 71? I blame her.

A post shared by Paulina Gretzky (@paulinagretzky) on

That’s her Insty from last week that I forgot to show you. She’s obviously a distraction.

If You Can’t Beat’em, Don’t Pick Him

My high school golf coach was an absolute hack. If he played okay, he might break 90 a few times a year. His first comment at tryouts each year to the junior varsity kids was that if they can’t beat him they should probably just go home. And that resonates with me for some reason today when I think about Tiger Woods playing in the British Open against Tom Watson.

After 54 holes Watson trails Tiger only by two shots. Watson is nearly 30 years older than Woods. Watson is the captain of the 2014 Ryder Cup team. He’s said emphatically many times that Tiger will be a pick on his team.

However, Watson’s comments in recent pressers have shifted to indicate that Tiger would need to be in the Fed Ex playoffs and playing well to be picked for the team. As of now TW isn’t ranked in the top 200 players in the Fed Ex standings. That can all change very quickly. He’ll be at Firestone in a WGC event that has plenty of points available. A week in Akron will help. He’ll also have double points on the table at Valhalla at the PGA in August. He has opportunities, but one missed cut at the PGA might just be enough to make sure he stays home for the Fed Ex playoffs. And that really would make Watson’s decision all the more interesting.

He already has to use a pick on Phil as things stand now. Can he afford to use another on a rusty Tiger that can’t hit his driver in the fairway? Not in my opinion. Keep a close eye on Tiger’s driver over the next month. That’ll be the key to if he makes the team. As Paul Azinger often says, the best players in the world drive it the best, wedge it the best, and putt it the best. See Adam Scott, see Rory this week, and see Tiger’s struggles with the driver to know where he stands right now. It isn’t pretty.

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2 Responses to Open Championship: Round 3

  1. danrock says:

    I don’t want Phil or Tiger. Looks like Furyk will make it on points, but no Stricker or other mid 40’s players who know how to lose the Ryder Cup. That is why the PGA picked Watson as captain instead of one of the players’ older peers — he has to have the courage to leave the old, tired war horses at home!

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